Supermarket tabloids -- Our guide to the differences between the major gossip papers, from ''Star'' to ''National Enquirer''

By Bob Cannon
Updated November 20, 1992 at 05:00 AM EST

Since we’re part of the cultural elite, we’d never admit to buying a supermarket tabloid. Unless, of course, a few happened to fall accidentally into our shopping cart. But which one to buy? Which one will satisfy your inquiring mind? To answer that question, here’s our guide to the five major tabs and the subtle differences they’ve demonstrated in subject, tone, and treatment.

Made you look: Oprah Bigamy Scandal (about a guest posing as a bigamist) Made you laugh: Achy Breaky Star Gets Another Girlfriend Pregnant (2 weeks after ”I’m Achy Breaky for Someone to Cuddle”) Made you scratch your head: Marla: ”I Feel So Used — I Wish I Were Dead!” Made you read it: Jay Leno’s Bizarre Secret Life: Psycho Visitors, No Vacations, All-Night Joke Writing Made you hurl: Vanna Loses Her Baby on the Set! Fun recurring feature: Pizzazz on Parade (about real starlets’ clothing, not dumb stuff!) The shocking truth: ”Largest circulation of any paper in America.” We bet The New York Times is just livid.

Made you look: Cher Teaches Lovelorn Michelle Pfeiffer How to Be Happy Without a Man Made you laugh: Chynna Phillips Tells Mom Michelle: Hands Off My Man! Made you scratch your head: Jeane Dixon: The Headlines Before They Happen Made you read it: Michael Jackson Posts Ghostbusters Outside His Bedroom Door Made you hurl: Michael Douglas: I Risked Unsafe Sex With Call Girls Fun recurring feature: Pictorial: Would You Be Caught Dead in This Outfit? The shocking truth: Jeane Dixon…Does this mean if I read it in July I can skip a week in September?

Made you look: Simon & Simon Hunk Shot Over Dog Doo-Doo! Made you laugh: Jacko’s (Michael Jackson) Skin Lighteners Could Turn Him Darker Than Ever, Top Docs Warn Made you scratch your head: John-John Goes Ga-Ga for Gal Who Looks Like Dear Ol’ Mom! Made you read it: Wacko Jacko’s Nose Turns Into a Snout Made you hurl: Richard Simmons Paid Me to Spank Him! Fun recurring feature: Your Lucky Stars by Mystic Meg (”Gemini: Guard your cash at the mall”) The shocking truth: If Liz, Marla, and Oprah all fell in a forest, and there was no one there to report it…

Made you look: War Bird: Giant Sparrow Attacks Plane Made you laugh: Chimps Learn to Speak by Watching TV’s I Love Lucy Made you scratch your head: Cannibals Warned: Eating Humans Can Cause Heart Attacks Made you read it: Woman Jumps From Window & Vanishes in Mid-Air…Only Her Clothes Were Left Made you hurl: Amputated Arm Is Growing Back, Docs Say Fun recurring feature: Sun Strokes (facile factoids about brave celebs who stand in front of cameras) The shocking truth: Lots of psychic news. But don’t they already know about it?

Made you look: Snail Sex Orgy! Made you laugh: Breast Implants Made My Boobs Glow in the Dark! Made you scratch your head: Five U.S. Senators Are Space Aliens! Made you read it: Man’s Eyeballs Pop Out When He Eats a Double-Decker Sandwich! Made you hurl: Man Bites Off Girlfriend’s Lip, Spits It Out on the Sidewalk Fun recurring feature: ”My America” column, by aptly named Ed Anger The shocking truth: What stories do they reject?